Work on the anaphoric NPs the said + N and the same has shown that both were frequent in sixteenth-century English but declined afterwards. We address the question why this happened. After reviewing earlier work on the two constructions, we present data showing that their properties and development are too dissimilar to assume that they declined for the same reason. Instead, we identify for each of the changes two separate causal factors, which involve tension between form and meaning of the anaphor. In exploring these case histories, we also offer some discussion of the general kinds of explanations that have been proposed for the decline of linguistic forms and constructions, which is an aspect of language change that deserves more systematic investigation.
|Title of host publication
|The Noun Phrase in English: Past and present
|Published - 14 May 2018
|The Noun Phrase in English